Shifting your online store from Yahoo’s eCommerce platform to BigCommerce might feel like a mammoth task. But with a well-planned strategy and the right steps, it’s much simpler than you might think. This guide is designed to walk you through the process of migrating your Yahoo Store to BigCommerce. It aims to help you maintain and even improve your valuable SEO rankings.
1. Evaluating Your Current Yahoo Store
Before you make the switch, take a good look at your existing Yahoo Store. The main aim here is to identify what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Note down any special features: These could be unique selling points that set your store apart. You’ll want to recreate these in your BigCommerce store.
- Identify integrations that are valuable: Any apps or plugins that are driving traffic or sales should be kept when you migrate.
- Understand your design: Make a note of any design elements that contribute to your brand image. This could be color schemes, logos, or specific imagery.
- Functionality: If there are any specific functions that your customers appreciate, these will need to be part of your new store too.
- Highlight pain points: If there are any elements of the Yahoo Store that you find restrictive or challenging, make a note of these. The move to BigCommerce could be an opportunity to resolve these issues.
2. Selecting the Right BigCommerce Plan
BigCommerce offers a range of plans to cater to different business needs and budgets. Spend some time reviewing the different plans to ensure you pick the best fit for your store. Aspects to consider include:
- Product Volume: How many products are you planning to sell? More products could require a more robust plan.
- Order Volume: The volume of orders you receive may also influence the type of plan you choose.
- Custom Integrations: If you require advanced integrations, make sure to select a plan that supports this.
Their Enterprise plan is a great choice for stores with custom needs, offering a wide range of features and options.
3. Setting Up Your New BigCommerce Store
Once you’ve picked a plan, it’s time to set up your new BigCommerce store. You’ll need to configure various aspects of the store to ensure it’s ready for your products. This process includes setting up:
- Store Name and URL: These are critical as they’ll be what your customers see and use to access your store.
- Currencies: If you’re selling internationally, you’ll need to set up the relevant currencies.
- Shipping Zones: Decide where you want to ship to and set up appropriate zones.
- Payment Methods: Your customers need ways to pay you. Set up your preferred payment gateways.
- Taxes: Different locations have different tax rules. Ensure you’re compliant by setting up tax rules.
- Backend Tools: Spend some time exploring the backend of BigCommerce. Understanding these tools will make running your store easier.
4. Moving Your Design and Theme Over
The next step is to migrate your store design. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, consider working with a designer experienced with BigCommerce. They can help ensure your brand’s identity remains consistent across the move.
- Consistent Branding: Keep your branding elements such as logos, fonts, colors, and images the same.
- Features and Custom Touches: If there were any specific features or customization on your Yahoo store that customers loved, make sure they are included in the new design.
5. Migrating Your Product Catalog
BigCommerce offers built-in data import tools that make moving your product catalog over simple. This includes your products, SKUs, descriptions, images, prices, and stock levels. After migrating, ensure everything has transferred correctly, and remove any unnecessary custom fields.
6. Setting Up 301 Redirects
Setting up 301 redirects is an essential step in preserving your SEO rankings. For each URL on your old site, you’ll create a redirect that automatically takes any visitors (and search engines) to the corresponding page on your new site. This process tells search engines that your content has permanently moved, which helps to maintain your SEO rankings.
7. Migrating Website Content
Your store is more than just products, and so the next step is to move over any other content you have. This might include:
- Blog Posts: Blogs can be a great way to drive traffic and engage customers.
- Information Pages: This could be anything from ‘About Us’ to ‘Shipping Information’.
- Images and Videos: If you have any media that’s not directly linked to products, you’ll want to move this too.
8. Conducting a Full Test
Before your new BigCommerce store goes live, make sure to test everything. This includes the checkout process, payment methods, shipping calculations, and more. If there are any issues, now’s the time to fix them.
9. Launching Your Store
After thorough testing, and when you’re completely satisfied, it’s time to launch your new store. Update your domain’s DNS settings to point to your BigCommerce store, and you’re ready to go.
10. Ongoing Monitoring
After launching, keep an eye on your traffic and SEO rankings to ensure they’re stable or improving. This is also the time to keep improving your BigCommerce store based on customer feedback and analytics.
With careful planning and step-by-step execution, moving from Yahoo Stores to BigCommerce can be a smooth process that maintains or even boosts your place in search engine rankings. This comprehensive guide should make your transition easier, ensuring your ecommerce store continues to thrive.